Biking!

Last fall I bought a nicer bike from Tom at Fit to Be Tri'd. He found a trade in that was my size!!


Beautiful!

That meant my trusty Schwinn, my bike from the 6th grade, has been retired.
Don't judge a bike by its cover! This bike is amazing.
I was pretty excited to get out on the roads this Spring to ride. It was on the same "let's try something new" list as my first Ultra. I was surprised to want to bike. I have always steered clear of biking previously because of the cost and the danger-factor. It always seems like the serious bikers I know are recovering from some crash, and there have been far too many cyclists killed by cars in the last few years. I know running is hard on your body too, but the occasional stress fracture or muscle strain seems better than full-body road rash.

And like I said, biking can be expensive! Even the most expensive pair of Brooks running shoes will only cost you $160 (and get a free shoe bag with purchase!), but bikers can easily spend way more than $160 on dozens of different PARTS of their bike. Yes, I know running shoes wear out after ~300-400 miles, but what happens when you crash that fancy bike (or heaven forbid it gets stolen)?

Yeah, that's why I've stayed far, far away from biking :).

But, I guess there's insurance for everything, and just found something called "cycling insurance". Did you know something like this existed?

Well, friends, it does. It's most common to cover your bike (theft, damaged in an accident, vandalized) and gear. Some companies include roadside assistance - like Yellow Jersey Insurance - yikes (but invaluable when needed). I guess AAA probably wouldn't come to get you if you crashed on your bike out in the middle of nowhere.

Some even offer a rental bike while your bike is being repaired. Seems a little over the top, but I guess cyclists are a bit of a different breed. Right Craig? :)

This got me looking into other insurance policies, since there probably is a policy out there for everything. Low and behold, some interesting ones:

Cancer insurance: Make a point not to come down another life-threatening disease/condition
Flight insurance: Wouldn't your life insurance policy cover you here? Just curious. The odds in crashing in a place are 1 in 11 million. Wonder how many policies are sold, and what the payout rate is...
Pet Insurance: I looked into this a long time ago. It averages $600-700/year. Does that seem really expensive to you?

I am completely digressing -- I just thought it was one of those "I didn't know this existed" type of things that I'd mention here :).

Back to the story at hand: I've been out on a couple of rides with Nate this Spring. The first one consisted of a slow tour down to the library and back to pick up "Frozen" which had just come in for us.


I learned just HOW novice I am at riding. This can't be that hard, can it? I had a hard time getting my feet into the new straps on the pedals and felt awkward crouching down onto the bars. I learned it was illegal to ride my bike on the sidewalks downtown, and I also tried to re-train my brain to ride on the right side of the road. My runner-brain will forever want to stick to the left side.

The second time we went out I rode for an entire EIGHT miles. Holy cow. Breaking records already (JUST KIDDING). I decided to take it harder, so huffed and puffed up the hills. I tried as hard as I could to go fast, but every time I'd catch up to Nate and give him a breathy "hello", I know he was wondering how I could be out of breath... we were hardly MOVING.

Plus, I struggled to keep my wheel straight in the cross winds.

The ~3rd time (or so) I went out to pace a TNC workout in Northfield. Leave it to me, I literally fell off my bike while just standing with it because I forgot one foot was still in the pedal straps. Only me. #winning

Nate asked if he needed to take my biking privileges away early (the doctors have recommended ceasing to bike outdoors after week 18 because of the risk of falling due to changes to your center of gravity). Probably.

So, that's the awesome start to my cycling career. I wonder if I could buy a cycling insurance policy that would cover my awesome abilities. Maybe that's just called a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards? Nate might just wrap my entire midsection with bubble wrap.

Any runners out there that have picked up biking? Anyone out there who owns a biking insurance policy?

I'll be back tomorrow with something less random, I promise :)

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

5 comments:

  1. Yes, cyclists are a bit of a different breed. I am guessing it is more likely triathletes who would need the rental bike while theirs is in the shop. I don't know many cyclists that have just one bike, so if one is in for repairs they can just ride another one from their stable for a few days.

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  2. I have the exact same bike! I mostly use for XT or when injured. I will cycle with my husband from time to time. Get clip shoes(SPD) easiest to use versus straps. I have never heard of insurance for biking and would probably never buy it. I did my first 75mile ride last year. I don't mind biking it just takes a long time to get a solid workout. Even after 75 miles(thought tired) I felt like I needed to run to get that full body experience.

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    1. Really?!? Awesome! I hadn't even considered clip shoes, since I can hardly handle the straps... thoughts?

      I always wonder if anything other than running will provide that same "workout" feeling, When I was XC skiing, I'd often have that same thought... I need to go for a run for a "real" workout! :)

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  3. I always wonder how you can run so FAST, yet bike so SLOW. :)

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  4. We are so twins! I bought a nice road back a couple years ago, and Craig made me lay my 5th grade bike to rest at the dump this past fall. :( I was very sad because it had traveled from Waseca to college to SD to AK with me. It was a Kitty Hawk brand and even though it couldn't fly, it will always hold a special place in my heart. :) Good to know I still have 2 more weeks to ride my bike. :)

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